Mahindra has continuously been denying the reports about working on any small car, but this image says something else. The vehicle was caught out lying in the open with the camouflage slightly removed. The vehicle is Mahindra’s new compact sub-four meter vehicle. The vehicle looks mostly like a spiced up version of an hatchback. The vehicle which is also known as S101 to the insiders will be joining two more compact offerings from the house of Mahindra. The other two cars in the sub-four meter segment are Quanto and soon to be launched Verito Vibe. The excise benefits offered in the sub-four meter segment has lure many buyers and consumers towards the segment and has resulted in the number of vehicles like compact utility vehicles, compact crossovers and compact saloons or even SUVs joining the fleet. All this can be attributed to the Indian mindset of modifying everything to fit our needs.
While Qunato and Verito Vibe are mainly the chopped version of the already existing vehicles in the market, S101 on the other side is based on the new monocoque platform that has been developed by company to fit at least some of its original products into the sub-four meter segment. The simple look at the size of the bonnet and the rake of the windscreen gives clear indication that the vehicle is quite different from the Quanto. The A pillar starts from the front wheel arch itself, and the long wheel base stretches along the full length of the car itself. While the profile is much like the hatchback designers at Mahindra has been able to add bulk to the nose of the car. The front bumper has been made wide, the grilles are mounted quite high and designers seem to have gone a lot to add visual bulk to the car. If you have a close look at the rear part, it seems that a notch has been left there to mount an extra wheel. The rear mounted wheel will give it a more SUV like feel. Since the rear mounted wheel is not considered as a part of the car, so the vehicle will still lie in sub-four meter segment.
Mahindra’s unique proposition of the vehicle can be easily witnessed if you look inside the car. Unlike most of the conventional cars which have two bucket seats in the front, S101 has single driver seat with wide two passenger bench. The legroom for the middle passenger has been created by moving the gear lever to the dashboard and then removing the central console. If the seating arrangement is same, then Mahindra will be able to sit six passengers in the vehicle. But there are also rumors about six or seven seater version on the line. This can be mainly because it is a positive point for a vehicle if it hires extra seats, it makes it more sellable.
The vehicle is likely to come with the same 3 cylinder 1500cc engine that produces 98 bhp of power from Quanto. The power and the torque for the new car is likely to be raised and to achieve this most probably the engine will be transversely mounted just like the XUV500. While there are no 4 wheel version on the cards, there will be both petrol and diesel engine options mounted around the same mechanical structure.
The vehicle will be priced quite competitively most probably around 5 lakhs for the base model. The vehicle could hit market somewhere in 2014.